Group of Death haunts the Dutch

10.07.2019 - Gstaad

Italy and Poland off to winning starts in Gstaad

“The Group of Death.”

Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen must be sick of hearing this.

In Hamburg, they took it with a smile. Placed in Pool F at the World Championships, they took on Lucena/Dalhausser, O’Gorman/Saxton and Capogrosso/Azaad in one of the toughest groups. And came through it. Just.

Here in Gstaad, where truly the best in the business have come to play in the mountains, they are again placed in what looks, on paper at least, of the gnarliest.

When your first match in the tournament is against Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai you know the volleyball gods are, perhaps, against you.

The Dutch duo, bronze medalists at the last Olympics, went down in straight sets in the opening Center Court clash to the silver medalists from Rio.

Defeat means Alex and Rob face their Belgian friends, Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle for the right to stay in Gstaad.

The team from Belgium, who ensured a difficult World Champs, losing all three games, lost their opener to Poland’s Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek. Further evidence that this pool is indeed, a Group of Death. One top team will be packing their bags and leaving this alpine paradise.

Four teams that also were in action in Hamburg also kicked off day two with matches in Pool C. Russians Semenov/Leshukov and Ahmed/Cherif of Qatar both got off to winning starts to ensured they will play a knockout match.

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